The floating desalination plant will be moored at the Port of Barcelona, Source: Depositphotos

Barcelona to employ floating desalination unit in port

Barcelona to employ floating desalination unit in port

The facility will replace the need to have water supplied by tankers from Valencia

Barcelona will not need to rely on tankers delivering water from Valencia after a plan for the installation of a floating desalination plant was unveiled by the Catalan government. The objective is to have the floating facility operate in the Port of Barcelona with a capacity to cover 6% of the water consumption of the metropolitan area.

The Spanish region has been struggling with chronic drought, considered the worst since climate data collection began in 1916. It necessitated the declaration of a drought emergency in February, which saw various restrictions on water usage, including daily limits and the closure of swimming pools.

There was an initial plan to start bringing in water by tankers from a desalination plant in the neighbouring region of Valencia, however, the Catalan authorities now state that installing a floating plant in the port would remove the need for such deliveries.

The amount of water we will obtain with [the floating desalination plant] is much higher, we could say more than double, compared to what we would get by bringing in water tanker ships, and it is also much cheaper," said David Mascort, Climate Action Minister, quoted by CatalanNews.

The floating desalination plant produces about 40,000 m3 per day, while water tanker ships can only transport an average of 25,000 m3 per day.

The exact location of the future floating device has already been determined; however, it won’t be before October that it can start working when the next drought emergency will possibly be declared.

Plus, mobile desalination units in Costa Brava

In addition, 12 small mobile desalination units will be installed in the north of the Costa Brava coast, which is a popular tourist destination. These will cover 35% of the water consumption needs of more than a dozen municipalities in the area.

Local governments in the affected towns have welcomed the measure. Lluís Espada, the environmental councillor of the town of Roses, for one, said that their goal was to ensure "drinking water" while guaranteeing a "normal tourist season".



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